ARC Review: Hooking Up by Helena Hunting

Title: Hooking Up
Author: Helena Hunting
Publisher: Swerve
Publication date: November 7, 2017
Pages: 444
Source: Netgalley
Summary (via Goodreads): Amalie Whitfield is the picture of a blushing bride during her wedding reception–but for all the wrong reasons. Instead of proclaiming his undying love, her husband can be heard, by Amalie and their guests, getting off with someone else. She has every reason to freak out, and in a moment of insanity, she throws herself at the first hot-blooded male she sees. But he’s not interested in becoming her revenge screw.

 

Mortified and desperate to escape the post-wedding drama, Amalie decides to go on her honeymoon alone, only to find the man who rejected her also heading to the same tiny island for work. But this time he isn’t holding back. She should know better than to sleep with someone she knows, but she can’t seem to resist him.

 

They might agree that what happens on the island should stay on the island, but neither one can deny that their attraction is more than just physical.

 

Filled with hilariously scandalous situations and enough sexual chemistry to power an airplane from New York City to the South Pacific, Hooking Up is the next standalone, laugh-out-loud romantic comedy from Helena Hunting, the New York Times bestselling author of the Pucked series and Shacking Up.

 

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I really liked this one. It’s a longer book, but it flew by because I was invested in the characters. I enjoyed all of them, except the ones I was meant to hate. Thank you Netgalley for providing me a copy in exchange for a honest review. I’m giving it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

 

I connected with Amalie’s character quite a bit. I felt heartbroken with her. Obviously based on the summary there’s cheating in this one. The progression between her and the mystery guy was believable, especially when we get to see both sides of their story. I’m not usually a huge dual POV fan, but this one was done well. I liked seeing his side of things A LOT.

 

The mystery guy was fabulous in my opinion. Can I have one of my very own? I’m not going to say his name, although it becomes very apparent who it will be at the beginning of the book. He’s definitely going on my book boyfriend list. Sexy, swoony, and super sweet when he wants to be. The perfect combination.

 

I loved the interactions between the main characters, and even loved some of the secondary characters like Ruby, and Bane. I found myself smiling and chuckling to myself several times while reading. I definitely need to see what else this author has written, because I want more. If you love romance, and don’t mind some cheating, then definitely check this one out!

 

Release Day Blitz & ARC Review: The Fortunate Ones by R.S. Grey

R.S. Grey’s next romantic comedy, THE FORTUNATE ONES, is available now! Read a sneak peek below and be sure to pick up your copy today!

 

About THE FORTUNATE ONES

At Twin Oaks Country Club, there are the fortunate ones, and then there are the rest of us: the waiters, the caddies, the valets, and in my case, the cabana girls. Most days, I’m poolside in a pleated skirt, dishing out margaritas to tycoons and titans. It’s not exactly my dream job, but it does come with one perk…

James Ashwood.

He’s my silver lining in a custom black suit.

Besides being a legacy member at the club, he’s a tech mogul and Austin’s most eligible bachelor. Oh, and those dimples? Yeah, they make my stomach dip too.

On good days, I catch his sleek Porsche winding down the tree-lined drive. On better days, I steal a glimpse of his handsome profile as we pass in the hall. And on the absolute best day, I find him alone at the bar, looking for company.

“Come have a seat.”

Those four little words set me down a path I never could have imagined. Private planes, penthouse suites, and temptations around every corner make it impossible to keep my distance. His world feels decadent and wild—but overindulgence comes with a cost. Every kiss comes with strings. Every erotic encounter is a promise I’m not ready to keep.

When I pump the brakes, he hits the gas. James doesn’t want to go slow—he wants a commitment.

And the thing about the fortunate ones?

They’re used to getting what they want.

Add THE FORTUNATE ONES to your Goodreads list here!

Get your hands on THE FORTUNATE ONES now!

 

Get a Sneak Peek of THE FORTUNATE ONES:

“I missed you today,” he says, his heated gaze lingering on my body.

I step back, and he follows.

He looks like he’s cornering his prey.

“Apparently not enough to make it to dinner,” I point out icily.

“I called the restaurant and told them I’d be late. Didn’t they tell you?”

I cross my arms and glance away.

“Brooke.” He steps closer and gently lifts my chin, forcing me to look back at him. “Fight with me tomorrow.”

I narrow my eyes, angry with him for shelving this discussion so casually. To him, it doesn’t matter that I sat in that restaurant alone, looking like a fool for nearly two hours. He’s brushing off my anger, stepping closer and forcing his way past my defenses.

“I think I’d like to talk about it now.”

I catch the beginning of a smirk just before he leans in to kiss my cheek.

“Are you sure there isn’t anything you’d rather be doing right now?”

He uncrosses my arms and brings them up over his shoulders then steps closer, towering over me. My arms tighten around his neck, but still, I turn away, keeping my mouth from him. His breath hits my neck and he pulls me taut against his hard body, growing more impatient with every moment I try to resist.

“Brooke,” he whispers huskily.

My eyes flutter closed as he bends and presses a kiss to my cheek, my chin, then lower, tipping my head back so he can reach the smooth recess at the nape of my neck. I shiver and he groans, obviously aware of what his touch is doing to me.

 

About R.S. Grey

R.S. Grey is the USA Today bestselling author of thirteen novels, including THE FOXE & THE HOUND. She lives in Texas with her husband and two dogs, and can be found reading, binge-watching reality TV, or practicing yoga! Visit her at rsgrey.com

Website | Twitter | Facebook | R.S. Grey’s Little Reds Facebook Group | Newsletter | Instagram

 

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First, I just want to say that I enjoyed this eARC. It’s different than what I was expecting, but still great. Thanks to the author for providing me a copy in exchange for a honest review. I’m giving it 4 out of 5 stars.

 

This was well-written, and very entertaining (I laughed and cried and swooned), but based on the summary, I was expecting a whirlwind romance. And while there was romance, it wasn’t the main part of the book. There was pretty much zero romance for the first half of the book. And even for some time after that, it still wasn’t super romantic.

 

Even though I’m a die-hard romance fan, and pretty much want it to be a major plot in the books I read, I still liked this story…a lot. The characters were amazing (Brooke, James, and Ellie to name a few), and I enjoyed their interactions. There was a healthy dose of drama with the going ons at the club, the attraction between Brooke and James, etc., so beware if drama’s not your thing.

 

James is definitely going on my book boyfriend list. He’s such a sweetheart, and I just love him to bits. I liked Brooke for the most part, but sometimes I just wanted to shake her and tell her to knock it off and open her eyes. She came to the right conclusion eventually, so points for that.

 

This was a fast, enjoyable read. I can’t wait to see what the author publishes next, and to go back to read her older books. Definitely check her out if you haven’t already! And might I recommend Scoring Wilder by her? It’s fantastic!

 

ARC Review: The Real Thing by Melissa Foster

Title: The Real Thing
Author: Melissa Foster
Series: Sugar Lake #1
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Publication date: September 5, 2017
Pages: 288
Source: Netgalley
Summary (via Goodreads): This sassy, spirited baker is fine with heat—but is her fake fiancé too hot to handle?

 

Bakery owner Willow Dalton’s friendship with Zane Walker has always been a bit complicated. Now a scrumptiously hot A-list actor, Zane’s always had a reputation as player. He’s arrogant, and he’s definitely not boyfriend material. Sure, he did Willow a favor by agreeing to take her virginity before college, but is that reason enough to go along with a fake engagement a decade later—even if it comes with a real diamond ring?

 

Zane should have known better. Nothing involving Willow has ever been easy. Still, he knows her better than anyone, and becoming America’s hottest new leading man means cleaning up his reputation. An “engagement” to curvy, sass-mouthed Willow is the perfect PR move . . . provided no one gets hurt.

 

Now Zane and Willow’s little white lie has turned into an irresistible recipe for sweet temptation. And soon no one will be able to tell the difference between their fake engagement or the real thing—including them.

 

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This is my first book by this author, and overall I’m pretty impressed. The characters were all great, and I liked the dual POV quite a bit in this one. The voices have to be distinct, otherwise multiple POV really irks me. But it was nice that we got to see inside both of their minds, giving us a glance at where they were at mentally and emotionally. Thank you Netgalley for providing me a copy in exchange for a honest review. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars.

 

It was a little slow sometimes, but then the romantic parts would kick into high gear and I was hooked again. And let me tell you, there was quite a bit of romance…and sex. I haven’t read a ton of second chance romances (send me your recs!), but I really love the trope. Plus the small town vibe is usually adorable in books, and this one was no exception. Small towns are not so cute in real life. At least not the ones I’ve lived in.

 

Zane is total book boyfriend material. Where can I find a guy like him? *sighs* He was so caring, thoughtful, etc. I’m not going to tell you all about the things, but he does a lot for Willow. I absolutely adored Willow for the most part, and her family is definitely up there in my favorites. There were so many cute moments, which I don’t want to share, because it would spoil the fun.

 

It’s a pretty short book (less than 300 pages), so if you like second chance romance, sweet treats, and super cuteness overload, read this ASAP. I can’t wait to read more from this author. I’m off to check when book two of this series comes out, and what it’s all about.

 

4 stars

Book Review: Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward

Title: Lover Awakened
Author: J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #3
Publisher: Signet
Publication date: September 5, 2006
Pages: 434
Source: Purchased
Summary (via Goodreads): In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly war raging between vampires and their slayers. And there exists a secret band of brothers like no other – six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Of these, Zsadist is the most terrifying member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

 

A former blood slave, the vampire Zsadist still bears the scars from a past filled with suffering and humiliation. Renowned for his unquenchable fury and sinister deeds, he is a savage feared by humans and vampires alike. Anger is his only companion, and terror is his only passion—until he rescues a beautiful aristocrat from the evil Lessening Society.

 

Bella is instantly entranced by the seething power Zsadist possesses. But even as their desire for one another begins to overtake them both, Zsadist’s thirst for vengeance against Bella’s tormentors drives him to the brink of madness. Now, Bella must help her lover overcome the wounds of his tortured past, and find a future with her…

 

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Sooooo freaking good! I decided to get the first several books in the series from my local used bookstore, and quickly devoured book 1, which I enjoyed. Book 2 was even better, although some parts were kinda like OMG what’s happening. Somewhere along the line, I ended up buying 10-11 of the Black Dagger Brotherhood books, just because I like the characters so much. And I have a thing for vampires. So here we are with book 3 and my review. I was so nervous about reading this one based on the couple (mostly the male); that is until my friend Jessica read it and loved it hardcore. I also loved it so much. There are no words that can fully express my love. This book definitely gets 5 stars.

 

There were so many emotional parts; it broke my heart sometimes. I definitely cried while reading this book, especially towards the end. That ending was absolute perfection. 5 extra stars just for that haha. I don’t want to give things away, especially for people who haven’t read any of the books. But I’ll say that I knew who the club owner really was way before he was revealed. I’m definitely excited to read the next book, to see what happens going forward. I am so glad I finally got around to reading this book, because it’s exactly what I needed right about now. Vampires will always be a love of mine, and I don’t read about them nearly enough. So give me all your favorite vampire recs now! Please and thanks.

 

One thing to note about these books is the fact that they kind of jump around from head to head, showing you a little of what this person is thinking/feeling, and then this person, and so on. It’s a little annoying at moments when you just want to stay in someone’s head at a really good/intense part, but then it jumps to someone else’s head for a while instead. I think the different POVs are well done though, so no complaints really from me. I highly recommend these books to anyone who likes vampires, paranormal romance, and some alpha males.